CHICAGO — Legendary WGN-TV personality Ray Rayner would have celebrated his 100th birthday Tuesday.
Rayner became a part of the WGN-TV family in 1961. He is best known for hosting the show “Ray Rayner and His Friends.” The show featured different cartoon characters such as Chelveston the Duck, who would chase Rayner around the studio, nipping at his heels. Director of the Lincoln Park Zoo Dr. Lester Fisher would also appear weekly to talk about animals.
Rayner also starred as Oliver O. Oliver, Bozo the Clown’s sidekick in the WGN original television show “Bozo’s Circus.” He starred alongside Bob Bell as Bozo, Don Sandburg as Sandy and Ned Locke as Ringmaster Ned, with music performed by Bob Trendler (Mr. Bob) and the Big Top Band.
He retired from WGN-TV in December of 1981. He moved to Albuquerque and did weather for a CBS affiliate until 1989.
Rayner, who born on July 23, 1919, died in January 2004 at the age of 84.